Submitted by: Eric White
A small article in the back of the Wall Street Journal, Sites Battle for Chinese Web Users (found in section B4 of the Marketplace section October 9, 2008) tells of the competition between two Chinese on-line auction sites. At first I thought that the growth of on-line shopping, specifically auction sites, would be a great thing for the Chinese as this would provide access to a wide variety of products just as eBay has done for the US. Never mind the deficiencies and lack of reliability of mail in China, due in large part to the unsystematic street addresses, how will these sites govern the issue of counterfeit products?
Since counterfeiting is so prolific in China and regulations are weak at best, who will take responsibility in ensuring on-line buyers at auction sites that the products they are buying are really authentic? I am sure there is some protocol to which the on-line site has come up with in dealing with this issue, but I am very curious as to what it is. If auction sites are unable to ensure authenticity of products sold and lack the legal ability to prosecute would be counterfeit item sellers then the outlook for these new auction sites are bleak.
Thoughts? Comments on how these sites could effectively regulate counterfeit products?